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Press Release: African Countries Launch AFR100 to Restore 100 Million Hectares of Land (05.12.2015)

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Commitments from 10 countries announced at the Global Landscapes Forum

PARIS (December 6, 2015)—African countries launched AFR100 (African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative), a pan-African, country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares (386 thousand square miles) of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2030. The AFR100 target of 100 million hectares has been endorsed by the African Union. So far 10 African countries have agreed to join AFR100 and committed at least 31.7 million hectares of land for forest landscape restoration. AFR100 partners are earmarking more than USD $1 billion in development finance and more than $540 million in private sector impact investment to support restoration activities.

The announcement was made during the Global Landscapes Forum at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, where forest landscape restoration is a key ingredient of the global movement to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Commitments made through AFR100 build on significant climate pledges made by many African countries to support a binding global climate agreement.

“Restoring our landscapes brings prosperity, security and opportunity,” said Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Natural Resources in Rwanda. “With forest landscape restoration we’ve seen agricultural yields rise and farmers in our rural communities diversify their livelihoods and improve their well-being. Forest landscape restoration is not just an environmental strategy, it is an economic and social development strategy as well.”

For the first time, AFR100 brings together political leadership with an ambitious package of financial and technical resources to support a large-scale forest landscape restoration effort across Africa. Nine financial partners and 10 technical assistance providers have pledged support, led by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and World Resources Institute (WRI).

“The scale of these new restoration commitments is unprecedented,” said Wanjira Mathai, Chair of the Green Belt Movement and daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. “I have seen restoration in communities both large and small across Africa, but the promise of a continent-wide movement is truly inspiring. Restoring landscapes will empower and enrich rural communities while providing downstream benefits to those in cities. Everybody wins. ”

Countries that have agreed to join the AFR100 initiative include:

• Democratic Republic of Congo | 8 million hectares
• Ethiopia | 15 million hectares
• Kenya | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Liberia | 1 million hectares
• Madagascar | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Malawi | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Niger | 3.2 million hectares
• Rwanda | 2 million hectares
• Togo | Committed, but finalizing hectare target
• Uganda | 2.5 million hectares

AFR100 builds on the climate commitments made by African countries. So far, 13 of the INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) submitted by African countries include restoration, conservation of standing forests, or “climate-smart” agriculture. According to WRI analysis, following through on the commitments would cumulatively reduce emissions by 1.2 Gt CO2eq over the next 10 years, or 36 percent of Africa’s annual emissions and 0.25 percent of global emissions.

“Restoration is really Africa’s gift to the world,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO, World Resources Institute. “As the world forges a climate agreement in Paris, African countries— which bear the least historic responsibility for climate change– are showing leadership with ambitious pledges to restore land. These countries are well on their way to meet the goal of restoring 100 million hectares of land, which will help sequester carbon and bring economic benefits to low-income, rural communities. These African leaders are turning their words into action and making a real contribution to respond to the global threat of climate change.”

AFR100 recognizes the benefits that forests and trees can provide in African landscapes: improved soil fertility and food security, greater availability and quality of water resources, reduced desertification, increased biodiversity, green jobs, economic growth, and increased capacity for climate change resilience and mitigation. Forest landscape restoration has the potential to improve livelihoods, especially for women. For example, 20 years ago, women in southern Niger spent an average of 2.5 hours daily collecting firewood, which was scarce in the degraded landscape. Now they prune on-farm trees saving two hours a day, time that can be spent on other income generating activities.

Commitments announced through AFR100 also support the Bonn Challenge, a global target to bring 150 million hectares of land into restoration by 2020 adopted in Germany in 2011, the New York Declaration on Forests that extends that challenge to 350 million hectares by 2030, and the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), an initiative to promote integrated landscape management with the goal of adapting to and mitigating climate change. With these new partners, the Bonn Challenge process has surpassed the 100 m hectare mark, on track to meet its goal well ahead of the 2020 target date.

AFR100 builds on a strong tradition of successful forest landscape restoration in Africa. In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, local communities have already restored over 1 million hectares, making the land more drought-resistant. In Niger, farmers have increased the number of on-farm trees across 5 million hectares of agricultural landscapes, improving food security for 2.5 million people. AFR100 will provide a forum for countries and communities to share knowledge and resources to achieve restoration at a greater scale.

“We know that restoration works for Africa. We’ve seen it work in countries as diverse as Malawi, Ethiopia, and Mali,” said Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD and former Prime Minister of Niger. “But we need to scale up restoration across the whole continent- more than 700 million hectares of land in Africa have potential for restoration. AFR100 provides a platform to work together more effectively to accelerate the achievement of restoration successes to benefit tens of millions of people who are currently searching for ways to adapt to climate change and improve their well-being.”

AFR100 will help to translate ambitious commitments into action with support from private sector investors, foundations, development banks, and bilateral and multilateral funders. AFR100 will leverage a variety of financing, including grants, equity investments, loans, risk management guarantees and funds for specific interventions.

So far, AFR100 partners have set forth over USD $1 billion of development financing:

  • World Bank: USD $1 billion in investment in 14 African countries by 2030, as part of the Africa Climate Business Plan to support Africa’s climate resilient and low carbon development
  • Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is providing support for the development of the AFR100 initiative

Impact investors have already earmarked USD $546.5 million for restoration under AFR100:

  • Ecoplanet Bamboo: USD $175 million by 2020
  • Sustainable Forest Investments – Netherlands: USD $150m by 2030
  • Terra Global Capital: USD $100 million by 2030
  • Green World Ventures: USD $65 million by 2020
  • Moringa Partnership: USD $56.5 million by 2030
  • NatureVest (impact investment arm of the Nature Conservancy)
  • Permian Global

Through AFR100, we expect to trigger one of the largest investments in forest landscape restoration the world has ever seen,” said H.E. Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany. “This investment is vital for empowering local communities to scale up the inspiring restoration successes we’ve seen in Africa over the last decade.”

In addition to new financing, a coalition of organizations will provide technical assistance on a wide range of activities, including the mapping of restoration opportunities, securing further financing, and implementing restoration efforts on the ground. Partners include World Resources Institute (WRI), Clinton Foundation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), Kijani, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency), The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (LPFN), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Greenbelt Movement.

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Professor Lumumba at PAV Ansah Foundation Forum – “On the Subject of Governance!”

PLO Lumumba interesting as always! Right?

Ask ourselves! We should Ask Ourselves!

Peace.

A honest letter to the Ugandan President Museveni after being snubbed by the U.S. President Obama

MuseveniObama

Dear His Excellency (H.E.) President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni!

I write to you since in the recent day you got rejected to meet with the American President Barrack Obama who will visit Kenya on the 24. July 2015. This is today! And he wouldn’t meet you in Kenya!

It must be a slap on your face Mzee that your ally in America is saying “no to see you”. When he is in your neighborhood. When he steps on land in East African Community and will not see you. Your sending troops for them into Central African Republic on the goose hunt for your lost cause for so long in Northern Uganda. The famous LRA and Joseph Kony! The one man that even the American army want to get rid-off! Then they failed together with Ethiopia in Somalia where you have been charged together to fight Al-Shabab. The Americans are certainly happy that you do this and don’t cost them much compared to send their own troops.

Mzee there many reasons why President Barrack Obama is saying no to see you. He is firstly meeting Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta. Who is turning into Americans ally in the area of late, even if you fight wars for them and use enormous levels of resources as well, still he doesn’t expect your courtesy call. You have been in charge of Uganda since October 1986. Obama is in his last term he has been lucky to only be Head of State in the country from 2009. He is not like you a true and tested leader like you! Even if he has Nobel Peace Prize. He got before really stepping into the office.

He has also been parts of wars. You have sent your own people and now they don’t even talk to you. I am not sure is because you have latest visits abroad to any great western powers. Was to Russia and then you started to buy army equipment from them instead of American. That is sure a slap to the face or the U.S. Arms producers, the cancelling of a planned military exercises on the 19. June of 2014, because of the “Anti-Gay Bill”! Since then it’s been cold from the American government and the White House. Then you’re buying expensive military equipment for your army from Mzee Putin of Russia. It’s okay that Obama had a burger with his predecessor Medvedev. Still with the Ukraine situation and Putin back in the hot-seat the turning relationship has also hit a snag. So don’t get the possibility to eat a burger in Nairobi with Obama.

So you’re now hurt by the almighty Obama. I am sure you wished yourself was directly mediating in Burundi, instead of the Defense Minister Crispus Kiyonga.  You’re in Uganda dealing with your own election then being there looking good for the press. The sad thing for you is to see your former weapon brothers going against you like Jean Patrick Amama Mbabazi. Who is trying to take your candidacy in your own party the NRM! And even worse for you is that the man who has fought against you for so long Dr. Kizza Besigye has gotten crowds where-ever he steps and moves around in the country. And your methods of chasing the opposition like a headless chickens, don’t help you at all Mzee Museveni. You think it does, but up to the election, you just look foolish to all the pundits. You look like a weak man instead of the man who has been in power since the 80s. You have cut loose so many big men before going into power, like Gen. Oyite Ojok, Yusuf Lule, Tito Okello, Milton Obote and Idi Amin. Before that the country was in shambles and you have made in some kind of peace. You could have been a hero! If you had left after your two first terms then you have been left with a decent legacy. That’s would have been since you gave the country a constitution and peace nearly on all places. You struggled with the Northern Uganda. And still continue to pay back to SPLM and South Sudan because of their help in the area. This is not popular that for the U.S. that your involved there without an official mandate.

I am sure that there are more issues for why Barrack Obama isn’t in your presence right now Mzee Museveni. So you are not the poster-boy and future leaders of Africa in 80s and beginning of the 90s. Where you and Kagame your former allies was seen a breath of fresh air! Now you are not the one who the west looks for hope in the continent. And you wonder why? That is because history repeat itself and you have broken your own words time and time again.

I am sure it’s been fun to have over the President of Zambia Edgar Lungu. But that is no Barrack Obama and with the power of U.S. And he could help you with military equipment. Though they not doing business as the Russians and taking pieces of the future oil industry instead of money. So I am sure that hurt your pride Mr. President. But know that the party has still fractions that are loyal to you because you pay them. The leaders who showed you support after last election victory was President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, former Kenyan President Daniel Arap-Moi, the now former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, President of South Sudan Salva Kiir and the Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik.

But none of this can help you as the American President and honor your presence. You have run a country as long as I have lived. And to get turned down and spend time with newcomer from Zambia must be low-key moment for you. Since you have been so useful to the American government and fought the wars they don’t want to. I am sure you’re having a bad day. Though not saying it since your hurt and parts of you might wish you didn’t visit Russia last time. And you should have tried to mend up with Americans who has supported you through the 90s and 00s. That refinery has cost you and the pipeline for the oil has been dodgy as well. But you’re so close and just need another term to the Lake Albert becoming your black gold. Until then you just has to use the well-used methods of keeping people in order and follow the party line. Though this doesn’t help you with your relationship with the American Government unless you break your principle and rules. Which is sacred to you and that is understandable. The American president only has eight years to do his thing and then he is gone. You have sit eight years in power when it was 1994. By then you we’re support Kagame and the RPA in Rwanda. So the issues with America should go over. You have their old weapons and know how they call on you when they wars they don’t want to fight. So your not best buddies today, but maybe during next term if their getting a republican president in the White House he might support you, because he will only care about policy, not about who as long as he looks good during the whole deal. Tomorrow is another day Mr. President His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni! You will shine again. Believe that and by now your mustard seed should be a big plant and give a good yield. Though Dr. Kizza Besigye is stealing your crops, don’t worry people will vote for you, even if they don’t know they do! The Electoral Commission is your people, you’re safe and good. You just have to wait until the U.S. need you again. Then you will get granted to meet with the Nobel man himself. Maybe even in your own Statehouse in Entebbe.

There is reports you get a courtesy call in Ethiopia, but for a great man like you that feels like you been snubbed twice already by the American President. I am sure your hurt and tried to patch up the hurt with a meeting with the Zambian President to be the big shot in East Africa. While your neighbors president get him directly for visits. Uhuru Kenyatta the Kenyan President and also meeting with Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe the Prime Minister of Ethiopia in their homelands. While you have travel to Addis Ababa to see him for a short time and not an official visit like they are getting. And you have been their ally for decades and when they’re in your area they don’t show you respect you deserve. For God and for country!

Best Regards:

From the Writer of this blog

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